“The Lord said to Moses,
‘Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them:
‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.'”
Leviticus 19:1-2 (NIV)
It is a fascinating exercise to listen to people’s views about God. One of the more popular views of God among modern people is to think of Him as some sort of celestial Santa Claus. People with this view have the notion that God exists to make them happy. They believe that God’s job is to shower them with all sorts of fun things to make life more enjoyable and pleasant.
I well recall hearing a preacher ask the question of the audience, “Well, God wants you to be happy, doesn’t He?” The answer the man was looking for was, “Yes.” This is such an immature view of our Creator. Scripture does not teach us to look upon the Lord as some benevolent deity whose existence is simply to dispense blessings wherever He looks.
Scripture does teach us with great clarity what the Lord truly wants for all of us. It can be found in the verse from Leviticus 11:44 (NIV) where it is written,
“I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy.”
In the very next verse the same command to be holy is written again. Then in Leviticus 19:2 and 20:7 we again read the same words,
“Be holy because I am holy.”.
God is looking for a people who are morally pure in heart, thought, and action. Everything the Lord does for His people He does to help them along the way to moral perfection. However, we never arrive at that great goal in this life. After all we have done in our efforts to please the Lord we must say, Luke 17:10 (NIV)
“We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.”
It will only be when we see Jesus that we shall reach the great goal of moral perfection. As it says in 1 John 3:2 (NIV)
“…we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.”
Between us and eternity is the great task of daily becoming more like the Lord Jesus Christ. As it says in 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)
“We demolish arguments and every pretension
that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,
and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
While we strive for perfection we ought to be encouraged by progress. We need to find satisfaction in seeing that we are becoming more and more like the Saviour Who died for us and rose again. 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV)
“And we all…
are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory,
which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
If you look back on your life and see that you failed to live as you ought to have lived, be encouraged that while you cannot go back and rewrite your past life, you may resolve to write a great future in the power of the Lord. Satan would discourage you by reminding you of past failures but you are not to listen to Him. Hear the words of encouragement in Scripture that call on you to advance in holiness and become more like Jesus with each passing day.
As you increase in holiness you will find yourself increasing in true happiness and joy in the Lord. Make holiness your goal and inevitably happiness will become your traveling companion.